Book Review: Made To Stick

February 12th, 2008

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Heath, Chip and Dan Heath. Made to Stick: Why some ideas survive and others die.
Random House, 2007.

Several weeks ago, a staff member at Fuqua sent an email to the “everyone” list warning drivers to avoid flashing their lights to oncoming cars, or they may be shot by a gang member. In reply another staff member noted that this was an urban legend that had been around for some time. The sender acknowledged that the story may not be true but still felt the warning was worth sending. This left me wondering — Why is this urban legend so successful? What is it about this story that makes it stick?

Written by Chip Heath, formerly a faculty member at Fuqua and now at Stanford, and his brother Dan, a consultant at Duke Corporate Education, Made to Stick explores why some ideas thrive and others fade away.

The authors analyze hundreds of sticky ideas, including compelling stories, persistent rumors, urban legends, conspiracy theories, proverbs and jokes. What emerges is a common set of six traits normally present in a successful idea. The 1992 Clinton campaign’s slogan “It’s the economy, stupid,” is an example of the simplicity principle. Urban legends often combine a vivid concrete image, an unexpected outcome and an emotional ending, such as the man who wakes up in an icy bathtub with no kidneys. Wendy’s “Where’s the Beef” commercials from the mid-80’s draw on the credibility principle as consumers are invited to see for themselves.

Finally in the epilogue, the authors suggest ways to transform and communicate ideas to make them more successful.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business. All rights reserved.

Book Review: Mistakes were made …

February 7th, 2008

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Tavris, Carol & Elliot Aronson. Mistakes were made (but not by me) : why we justify foolish beliefs, bad decisions, and hurtful acts. Harcourt, 2007.

Tavris and Aronson’s book offers the following story told by organizational consultants Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus: “A promising junior executive of IBM was involved in a risky venture for the company and managed to lose over $10 million in the gamble. It was a disaster. When Watson [Tom Watson, Sr.–IBM’s founder] called the nervous executive into his office, the young man blurted out, ‘I guess you want my resignation?’ Watson said, ‘You can’t be serious. We’ve just spent $10 million educating you!'” A $10 million dollar mistake is hard to hide, but why are most people reluctant to own up to any mistakes, even of the non-$10 million dollar variety?

Not only does no one like to admit mistakes, when confronted with those mistakes, most of us will go to great lengths to justify them rather than admit error. This book illuminates the ways self justification hinders our organizations, legal system, scientific research, and personal relationships. Full of pertinent examples from the interrogation of innocent suspects to the unreliable nature of memories, the book explains how the stress of cognitive dissonance and personal bias impairs our judgment in insidious ways. Tavris and Aronson make their case using an engaging combination of anecdotes and research studies. This book is well-written and thought-provoking.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business. All rights reserved.

Happy Chinese New Year!

February 7th, 2008

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The Ford Library would like to wish you all a very Happy Chinese New Year

Xin Nian Kuai Le (Happy New Year — Mandarin)

Sun Nin Ffy Lok (Happy New Year — Cantonese)

Below is a list of new books in the spirit of this holiday and a tip for using the online catalog to find titles in non-roman scripts. (As usual, you can click on any of the titles below to check availability or to place a hold.) Please also see our Chinese New Year display and special features areas in the library for more information on the holiday and even more titles.

Did you know you can search the online catalog for non-roman scripts? Currently, some titles are available in Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Cyrillic, Hebrew and Devanagari scripts. Most of the catalog records in non-roman scripts are in Chinese, Japanese or Korean, but there are some in Arabic, Hebrew and Cyrillic, and more of these will be added in the future.

For more information on how to search in Chinese, please contact the librarian for Chinese Studies, Luo Zho

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Book Review: Beyond Success

February 5th, 2008

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Ottinger, Randall J. Beyond Success: Building a personal, financial and philanthropic legacy. McGraw-Hill, 2008.

When Tom Keller was Dean of the Fuqua School, he once noted that there were two phases of life: the acquisition phase and the divestiture phase.

MBA students are focused on the first phase, acquisition. After graduation, these young men and women work long hours, take risks and make sacrifices for rewards that will come later. Inevitably as years pass, these young men and women will be successful at this phase and will achieve financial independence. And just as inevitably, they will someday be middle aged and find themselves in the second phase, divestiture, and may be surprised that this phase presents them with a different challenge — how to make a positive impact with their time and assets, building a personal and philanthropic legacy.

For people starting to think about establishing their legacy, the book Beyond Success illustrates the issues involved in managing wealth, philanthropy and family. How much is enough? How should people structure their lives to do well and to benefit others? How should people structure their wealth to enable their children to fulfill their dreams without undermining their motivation? How do people manage to leave something of lasting value at the end of life?

After providing a framework for creating a new vision and develop a road map for success, this book offers number of success stories. One is Mario Morino, who sold his company, Legent Corp to Computer Associates, and later formed Venture Philanthropy Partners, and who is now involved in Fuqua’s CASE (Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship) program. Also mentioned in this book is John C. Whitehead, formerly CEO of Goldman Sachs, who is also involved in CASE.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business. All rights reserved.

More New Audiobooks

February 5th, 2008

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More new Audiobook titles have been added. Come browse our audiobook section for more choices.

  • The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty by Julia Flynn Siler
  • The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride
  • State of Denial: Bush at War, Part 2 by Bob Woodward
  • The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein
  • This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman
  • Living the Truth by Keith R. Ablow
  • Banker to the Poor: Micro-lending and the Battle against World Poverty by Muhammad Yunus
  • From the Heart: Seven Rules to Live By Robin Roberts
  • American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies of the Republic by Joseph J. Ellis
  • Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself by Alan Alda
  • How Doctors Think by Jerome E. Groopman

To browse all of our audiobooks or to search for a specific title, you can visit our audiobook search page.

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Book Review: Travels of a T-Shirt ….

January 31st, 2008

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Rivoli, Pietra. Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An economist examines the markets, power and politics of world trade. Wiley, 2005

In 1979, when I worked at Ohio State, Honda built a factory in Marysville, Ohio. The economy in the Midwest was in shambles following the Arab oil embargo of the 70’s. Employment climbed to 10% and inflation was 12%. The mortgage on our first home was 13%, which looked like a bargain after rates climbed to 16%. Everyone we knew in Ohio tried to “buy American,” but after the Honda factory opened in Marysville, using unemployed (non-union) autoworkers, we began to wonder what it meant to buy American.

Twenty years later in 1999, an economist from Georgetown University’s school of business, watched a crowd of students on campus protest the evils of globalization — capitalism, corporations, the IMF and the WTO. A young woman grabbed the microphone and shouted to the crowd, “Who made your T-shirt?” Was it a child in India living in poverty for Nike’s profit? The economist began to wonder what it meant to be global, but unlike me a generation earlier, she traveled the world to investigate. Six years later, she published a book about the people, politics and markets that created her cotton T-shirt.

This is the story of globalization — the story of real people on three continents, woven together with economic and political lessons, that addresses the sometimes surprising winners and losers in the global economy. Using a simple product, the story shows that free markets aren’t always free, that victims are sometimes beneficiaries, and that nothing about globalization is simple. This book is both a good read and informative text, as well as a key resource for Fuqua’s Global Institute, August 2007.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business. All rights reserved.

New Audiobooks Added

January 30th, 2008

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Check out these great new Audiobook titles:

  • The China Road by Rob Gifford
  • The Assault on Reason by Albert Gore
  • The Measure of a Man by Sidney Poiter
  • Blessed Unrest (Unabridged) by Paul Hawken
  • The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman
  • The World Without Us by Alan Weisman
  • The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9-11 by Lawrence Wright

To browse all of our audiobooks or to search for a specific title, you can visit our audiobook search page.

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New Books for the Spring Semester

January 30th, 2008

stack of books image courtesy of Dartmouth Univ.

The Ford Library has started off the Spring Semester by adding lots of great new books. Come check out our New Books section for even more titles than are shown here. We add many new ones every month on a wide variety of business and related topics. (Click on any of the titles below to check availability or to place a hold.)

Business Trends & Events


The Environment, Nature, and Natural Resources:

Leadership & Ethics*:

* Many leadership and ethics titles are part of the library’s Dorothea F. Peterjohn Leadership Collection

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The Peterjohn Collection in Ford Library

January 25th, 2008

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Ford Library has created a special web page to highlight our Dorothea F. Peterjohn Leadership Collection.

This new Ford Library page complements and augments the Dorothea F. Peterjohn Leadership Library pages on the newly released Fuqua/Coach K Center for Leadership and Ethics site.

From our Peterjohn Collection page, you can:

  • view a dynamically updated listing of all Ford Library books in the Peterjohn Collection
  • request book titles for check-out directly from the web page
  • view a dynamically updated list of full-text online journal articles on leadership and ethics
  • view a listing of e-journals available at Duke on leadership and ethics

Please feel free to send any comments or questions about this new page or the Peterjohn Leadership Collection in Ford Library to:

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Update Your Library Bookmarks!

January 22nd, 2008

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Several people have recently reported being unable to locate pages on the Library web site. These errors have occurred because some users are still using old bookmarks to certain key pages on the old Ford Library site, which was hosted on Perkins-Bostock Library servers ( before we moved our site in March 2006.

Your older bookmarks still worked for a time because Perkins Library maintained “re-directs” on their server which automatically forwarded links to the older pages on to our new web site. Perkins-Bostock Library IT Support recently removed these re-directs without notice to us, causing “Page Not Found” errors for users of older bookmarks.

We recommend that you visit our current web site (link below) and update your bookmarks to avoid receiving “Page Not Found” errors.

Please feel free to send any comments or questions to:

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